Glenn Smith
May 28, 2010

TAA to demand lock on prices for booked airtime in Taiwan

TAIPEI - The Taiwan Advertisers' Association (TAA) is preparing a letter that it will send to the island TV and cable broadcasting associations in the hope of averting a summer pricing disaster.

TAA to demand lock on prices for booked airtime in Taiwan
The TAA will present broadcasters in Taiwan with two key points to try and bring unstable and spiralling TV prices under control.

The two key points selected out of five suggested during a seminar hosted by TAA at Brain Magazine on Wednesday this week, include that broadcasters give 15 days notice on price changes and desist in raising the prices of spots already booked.

The event was attended by the island's advertisers, advertising agencies, media agencies and broadcasters. Of the last, only cable station TVBS and terrestrial TTV sent representatives.

Frank Hsieh, CEO of ZenithOptimedia, said the meeting concluded with five 'key points' of which the TAA chose two to present in a letter to broadcasters. In reference to the two key points, he added: "That is the ideal situation for the buyer side, but I don't think the sellers will accept this kind of deal."

Normally, the period between Chinese New Year and summer is off-peak, but this year prices have risen throughout.

Traditionally, TV prices peak in summer but, according to an ad price index created by ZenithOptimedia Taiwan, pricing has already attained levels not seen since last year's record-breaking July. Prices in July 2009 were 67 per cent above the 2008 average, while the current month is already at 65 per cent above that level. Driving the price rise is a jump in demand due to the recovery of Taiwan's economic outlook.

This has resulted in a 'one day, three prices' dilemma, in which broadcasters raise prices without prior notice, sometimes multiple times in a single day.

"Everyone is scared about this summer," said Vince Cheng (pictured), managing director of MEC and chairman of the Media Agency Association (MAA).

"A typical campaign is three or four weeks, and maybe 300 spots. Let's say there is a 20-day queue. One week into it, with 13 days left, broadcasters might say, 'Sorry, we need to raise the price'," he added.

In April this year, Taiwan's media agency association MAA issued a letter to the island's terrestrial and cable TV associations requesting that local TV broadcasters review and perhaps amend their pricing practices.
Campaign China

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